Garui Lankesh murder: Belagavi hotelier held

Garui Lankesh murder: Belagavi hotelier held

Gauri Lankesh. Image courtesy Twitter

One person in Belagavi and two people in Udupi have been arrested by Special Investigation Team (SIT) sleuths probing journalist Gauri Lankesh murder case.

Bharat Kurne, a mobile canteen and vegetable shop owner from Sambhaji Galli, was arrested in Belagavi on Wednesday, while Sandesh Shetty Padebettu, 32, and Yuvaraj Kulal Kanchinadaka, 31, both Hindu Jagarana Vedike activists, were picked up from Udupi. 

V Jagadeesh, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate- I (in charge), remanded the duo in judicial custody till Friday.

He would be produced before the court on Friday and is likely to be taken into custody for interrogation.

According to the police, Kurne provided land for weapon training, besides shelter and transport facilities to other suspects in the case. 

The police arrested Padebettu and Kanchinadaka as they were in touch with others already arrested in the case.

They were taken to Bengaluru for further enquiry.

The sleuths have decided to take Kurne to various places in the state and neighbouring states to identify lands where weapon training took place and homes where shelter was provided to the accused. 

The sleuths told the magistrate that Kurne had confessed the fact that he was an associate of Amol Kale, the mastermind in the murder case. He owns three acres land at Chikhale village, Belagavi district. Parashuram Waghmore, Manohar Edave, Ganesh Miskin and Amith Baddi were trained in using the weapon at Kurne's land. The training also took place at Jamboti forest in Khanapur taluk.

Kurne had constructed a makeshift shed at his land where bullets and air gun were stored. He would often visited the shed. Kale would be present during the training. Rajesh D Bangera, the personal assistant of MLC Veena Achaiah, had trained them at Kurne land, they told the court.

Bangera is the 10 person to be picked up from Madikeri.  

According to the sleuths, Kale was introduced to Kurne by a common friend. He requested Kurne's help in saving the religion. He volunteered to offer his land for the training. 

After the deal, as per Kale's instructions, the meeting took place and Bangera was asked to train them in the use of the weapon.

He had arranged a rented house for the accused at Shastrinagar, Belagavi, as he found it unsafe to stay in the forest.

He had also arranged a van for them to commute between Belagavi and Chikhale. As per instructions, the accused practised meditation and karate. They woke up early, left for Chikhale and returned after the sunset, the sleuths added.